In a 6-2 vote, the Tyrone council recently voted to begin the process of potentially removing fluoride from the borough’s drinking water.
Fluoride is a chemical compound included in many drinking water supplies across the country.
The Center for Disease Control and American Dental Association both agree on its effectiveness in fighting cavities and helping oral health, but some are still weary of including it in drinking water.
Bellwood dentist Donald Miller said fears about fluoride are not grounded in facts.
“The research done for more than 60 years now proves that fluoride, when it’s regulated, doesn’t cause problems in people,” he said. “It has tremendous beneficial results.”
Miller added that he expects to see more cavities in children if fluoride is removed from the Tyrone drinking water.
Tyrone Councilman Mark Kosoglow voted in favor of eliminating fluoride, and while he acknowledged that fluoride helps fight cavities, he said he’s still concerned about including it in the borough’s drinking water.
“I’ve watched some documentaries,” he said. “The negatives outweigh the cavity thing.”
Kosoglow said the chemicals involved in the fluoridation process add to his concerns.
Back in 2007, Altoona City Council voted against adding fluoride to its drinking water because of what many felt were potential side effects and potential fluoride toxicity.
Over at his dental office, Miller said regulations take away any danger of fluoride, and he wrote a letter to the Tyrone Mayor William Fink, who voted in favor of beginning discussions to remove fluoride.
“I’m disappointed,” Miller said. “We’ve seen great results across the board historically with water fluoridation, it prevents tooth decay in children that otherwise have tooth decay growing up.”
In a phone interview with WTAJ, Mayor Fink said he’s not comfortable putting fluoride in everyone’s drinking water, and added that because it’s in toothpaste, people have the option of using it.
Fink added that a public speaks session on the matter will be scheduled for citizens to voice concerns both for and against eliminating fluoride from the water supply in the near future.